By Daniel Bardsley
The liver is so remarkable among the body’s organs that even the Ancient Greeks wrote about it.
They incorporated it into the story of Prometheus, who – chained to a rock as punishment for stealing fire and giving it to humanity – had part of his liver eaten each day by an eagle, only for it to regrow by night.
While this mythological tale exaggerates the liver’s ability to repair itself, even in the real world the organ’s powers of regeneration are striking.
[Regrowing organs] would be something transformative for a lot of people who suffer from heart attacks where part of the heart muscle dies, or people who have damage to their kidneys.
If two thirds of the liver of a mouse is removed, for example, the organ will regrow to its full size in less than a week.
Research work at NYUAD is now trying to unlock the secrets of organ regeneration in the hope that it could help people with damaged hearts or kidneys. Read more …
Caption: Researchers at NYUAD are studying how other species, such as the octopus, can regrow damaged limbs and organs. Courtesy: NUYAD